“Play is not just mindless entertainment, but an essential way of engaging with, and learning about, the world and ourselves”
From Ludic to Lucid
‘From Ludic to Lucid’ was a speculative interface design project, awarded First Class Honours at the Queensland University of Technology in the field of Interactive and Visual Design. This project explored the question: How can the goal-oriented experience of e-mental health information seeking be reimagined through the lens of play to intrinsically engage emerging adults? I proposed three experimental design concepts to workshop participants before developing the chosen design – Making Connections – into a more robust initial prototype. All three concepts draw on themes of normalisation, community, emotional literacy and expression of emotion through creative and sensory modalities.
This concept surrounded the notion of linking ideas – allowing you to draw connections between multiple emotions and issues. It was designed with parallax scrolling, so that each stage would build on the last.
How do we take a process that is traditionally designed around the pragmatic goal of obtaining information and transform it into a playful, explorative and intrinsically engaging experience? How do we incite meandering, wonder and play, while also facilitating learning and meaningful engagement?
Take a step back
This concept would zoom into increasingly granular topics to create a sense of discovery in the way that users navigated the website, gradually building their understanding. They would create gestural drawings tagged to their current emotions, allowing them to see how their input fit into the whole, with filters added to aggregate similar inputs.
making it meaningful
Play encompasses a wide spectrum of activities, from rule-bound, structured play to free-form, exploratory play. Between the two we find concepts like gamification that are currently popular in the field user experience design, as a way of introducing game elements (leader boards, badges etc.) to non-game contexts. This project focused more on the fluid, open-ended and explorative concept of meaningful play, a "sweet spot" in which effective goals can be achieved through the use of play as a motivational tool.
I feel you
This concept employed a “fill in the blanks” approach, and was heavily focused on normalising emotions, allowing users to express their emotions through a number of different modalities (sound, written word or visualisation). They would be able to view the responses of other users to these sensory prompts – visualised as a collaborative art piece. They could also select another user’s input to express their own emotions, highlighting shared human experiences.